Community Justice and Public Safety

Commentary

Pay for success sparks innovation in the public sector while limiting risk to taxpayers by ensuring the government only pays for services that are effective. Importantly, it can bring financing to interventions for populations that are often forgotten, neglected, or deemed less worthy of taxpayer support, including people experiencing chronic homelessness.

Are Cities and Counties Ready to Use Racial Equity Tools to Influence Policy?

Amid a growing national conversation on equity and social justice, city and county governments are using tools to identify racial and ethnic disparities in their communities. These insights can then inform the development and implementation of laws and policies designed to minimize disparities and maximize positive impacts on racial and ethnic minorities.

Building Upstream Interventions to Keep Families Together in Hennepin County, MN

Like many communities in the U.S., the Twin Cities metropolitan area has become increasingly vocal around social justice—exposing and documenting local poverty, inequity, and discrimination. Amid this wave, Hennepin County is actively seeking out population health policy opportunities to engage high-risk families and children, with the goal of developing and implementing upstream, cross-sector interventions to preserve unified, healthy families and avoid out of home placements (i.e., foster care).

Awaiting Trial: The Health Effects of Pretrial Detention

Each day in the U.S. there are approximately half a million individuals detained while awaiting trial. This high rate of pretrial detention may be due both to the widespread use of monetary bail, and to the limited financial resources of most defendants. Less than 50 percent of defendants in the U.S. are able to post bail even when it is set at $5,000 or less. While some defendants are detained for only a few days, others are detained for the entire period prior to the final dispositions of their cases.

Commentary

Kacie Dragan of our NYU Wagner School Research Hub writes about collaborating with local criminal justice and public health agencies to better understand the health needs of justice-involved New Yorkers.

Diverting Opioid Addicts Away from Criminal Justice and Toward Treatment

In 2016, the Chicago Police Department developed a pilot pre-arrest diversion strategy, the Westside Narcotics Diversion and Treatment Initiative (WNDTI), to respond to the opioid crisis in underserved Chicago neighborhoods. The goal was to encourage police officers to redirect low-level drug offenders (users and sellers) to treatment, instead of jail and prosecution. This strategy was modeled after a promising program in Seattle, the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD).

Legal Levers for Health Equity through Housing

Law stands as a significant influence on health equity, and an essential means of advancing a Culture of Health characterized by an equitable distribution of well-being. This project combines applied research and translation activities to answer a series of questions designed to improve our understanding and implementation of law and policy to address health inequity through housing